February 26, 2014 Last Updated 9:33 am

Barnes & Noble earnings improve, but so does revenue; and NOOK sales… don’t ask

The end is nigh. At least that what some Barnes & Noble critics may feel like saying after the book seller reported another quarter of decreasing sales.

B&N reported its Q3 earnings today for the quarter that ended January 25, 2014. Revenue fell 10. percent to $2.0 billion, though EBITDA increased to $173 million from $74 million a year ago.
“During the third quarter, the company significantly improved its balance sheet and bottom line, while making real progress on our strategic priorities,” said Michael P. Huseby, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Cost cutting has saved earnings because revenue continues to fall. Retail store sales fell 6.3 percent in the quarter that included the holiday shopping season (it wasn’t a good holiday season overall). The decline was mostly attributable to lower NOOK sales.

“We have taken steps to reduce costs and device exposure, while focusing our efforts to reverse the content sales decline,” said Huseby.

As for those NOOK sales, they were cut in half to $156.9 million from $316.0 the year before. Nonetheless, the company said in its conference call that a new model would be appearing.

“The Company is actively engaged in discussions with several world-class hardware partners related to device development as well as content packaging and distribution,” Huseby said. “As a result, we plan to launch a new NOOK color device in early fiscal 2015.”


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